Android OS

1050 articles
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Rumor: Google's Android App Icons To Get A Moonshine Makeover [Updated]

Included in Android's design guidelines is a section regarding iconography. The guidelines give very specific instructions on how to design a launcher icon for Android - it should have a unique silhouette, it should have a slight downward perspective, and it should be clearly visible no matter what wallpaper is behind it.

Many have opined, however, that it's odd that Google maintains different iconography for its apps on Android and their corresponding web services. For instance, on the web, Gmail's icon is a flat, closed envelope, with a long shadow, while on Android it's a more dimensional open envelope with the M appearing on the "paper" inside.

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Android 4.4.3 (Build KTU84F) For The Nexus 5 Should Start Rolling Out Today, According To Sprint [Update]

Update: Build KTU84F will hit devices between today and April 21st. Sprint hasn't fixed the typo on its support page, but the forum post has the build right.

What a day for an OTA – specifically, Android 4.4.3 for the Nexus 5. Sprint has updated its support page to indicate KTU84F is dropping today, which we understand to be the rumored 4.4.3 release. There is a Sprint-specific tweak in this update, but the software should also be hitting N5s that aren't connected to the Sprint network at the same time.

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[New App] Bluebox Heartbleed Scanner Can Help You Discover An OpenSSL Vulnerability On Your Device

The Internet has been abuzz over the recently discovered Heartbleed bug. If you're not already familiar, Heartbleed is a vulnerability in the OpenSSL software library that allows an attacker to steal data directly from the memory space of an application and learn the private keys used to keep data securely encrypted as it travels over the Internet. The implications of this kind of leak are certainly severe, and it has everybody rushing to either install updates that fix the bug or implement workarounds to disable it.

As users, there's not a lot you can do to close this security hole on your device, but you might still want to know if you're vulnerable.

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Google Is Now Rolling Out Constant On-Device Scanning For Verify Apps Feature

Google's previously announced enhancement to the Verify Apps framework is rolling out to users now, according to the official Android blog. Your device already has the standard Verify Apps system built-in that scans at the time of installation, but the new version will be watching all the time for suspicious activity.

Screenshot 2014-04-09 at 17.15.06

Verify Apps compares each app you install with known malware signatures, but there's always a possibility you are downloading a form of malware that hasn't been identified yet. An app might also install malicious code by some means after it has passed through the filter successfully. That's why Google is ramping up its scanning system.

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External Blues Redux: Apps Still Have A Loophole For Writing To The SD Card On KitKat, But For How Long?

"Because the history of computing has taught us is that data will not be contained. Data breaks free. It expands to new media, crashes through barriers; painfully, maybe even dangerously. But, uh, there it is… Data finds a way." - Jeff Goldblum as Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Gift Shop)

When we last left our favorite removable storage device, OEMs had begun adopting Google’s policy for restricting write access to SD cards. Given the nature of the Android community, it was probably safe to assume the story wouldn’t simply end with some people rooting to re-enable classic file system access and the rest passively accepting that the SD slot was just for decoration.

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Rumor: Google's Plan To Bridge Chrome, Android, And Search To Do Everything On Your Device [Updated]

Occasionally, an OS update will bring around features that really change things. Android 3.0 brought the Android experience to tablets. 4.0 completely revamped the UI and added guidelines that made Android look cohesive for the first time. 4.4 added Svelte, which promised to seat Android comfortably on an even broader range of devices. We have reason to believe another one of those changes is right around the corner, and it's known internally as Hera.

Hera

We feel confident in this rumor, but we'll take the same approach we always do - a brief breakdown of our confidence level, the rumor itself, the evidence, and any other thoughts.

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Rumor: This Might Be Android TV, Google's Renewed Bid For Your Living Room

In a bit of unexpected news, the Verge has just posted images and descriptions of Android TV, based on information provided to them by an unnamed source.

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Android TV, according to the Verge, is Google's renewed bid for the living room, looking to put Google TV in the rear view mirror, and deliver content in a cohesive experience that users will actually want to do. It does this by focusing on being an entertainment platform, rather than making your TV function like a large tablet with a remote.

The Verge's documents evidently reveal that "major video app providers" are already building experiences for the platform, including Vevo, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and others.

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CyanogenMod 11 Snapshot M5 Builds Now Rolling Out To Supported Devices

The folks at CyanogenMod take a long, long time to develop a custom ROM before they'll slap a "stable" label on it. They don't make any apologies for this, but if you're particularly impatient for a more reliable version of CM 11 (Android 4.4), you can check out the latest snapshot builds. The "M5" builds are rolling out for some of the better-supported devices at the moment, and more should be available throughout the day.

snapshot

"M" builds are much more stable than nightly CyanogenMod releases, but not quite good enough to be release candidates. They will generally work as a "daily driver" ROM, especially if you're used to the eccentricities of CyanogenMod, but depending on your device there may be one or two missing features.

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HTC Posts One M8 Kernel Source For Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, And International Variants [Updated]

HTC has just uploaded the open source bits for several variants of the new HTC One M8. Available for download right now is the Android 4.4.2 kernel source for the Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and Optus (an Aussie carrier) versions of the device. The Google Play Edition kernel source that was posted then yanked by HTC a few days ago is still no where to be found. Update: The GPE sources are back as well.

Update: Kernel source is now up for Telstra, Vodafone, the unlocked European M8, and various Asian variants. Framework support files have been posted as well.

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[Rumor] "Android Silver" May Be Google's Attempt To Finally Provide A Premium Android Sale And Support Experience

If there's one thing we hear time and again about Android, it's the F word: fragmentation. While it's largely just an annoying word used to get under the skin of Android fans, I think in at least one respect, it's been a valid criticism: the wildly varying experiences Android users have with the post-purchase support and software on their handsets. Now, it's equally correct to say that's not really Google's fault, nor its responsibility - OEMs are the ones dropping the ball in a lot of respects here, and I totally agree with that! Still, it has been an inarguable thorn in the platform's side for years now, one that critics enjoy relentlessly harping on as compared to the "unity" and consistency of, say, the iOS experience, where Apple controls all.

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